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This Week in Nature: Jul 7, 2016

In this week's Nature, a team led by researchers from the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III reports data suggesting that interactions between the nuclear and the mitochondrial genomes can influence aging in eukaryotes. In their study, the researchers bred strains of mice with the same nuclear DNA, but different mitochondrial DNA. Although there was little difference between the sets of animals when they were young, differences in mitochondrial function, insulin signaling, obesity, and age-related measures including telomere shortening were observed as they aged. Notably, these differences affected the animals' health and lifespan.

And in Nature Genetics, a group of British investigators publishes a study demonstrating how genome-wide association studies can be extended to species with highly recombinant outbred populations using low-coverage sequencing. The researchers combined low-coverage sequencing with a new method to impute the ancestral haplotype space in nearly 2,000 commercially available outbred mice. They mapped 56 unique quantitative trait loci for 92 phenotypes at a 5 percent false discovery rate, with gene-level mapping resolution achieved for about one-fifth of the loci. The approach, the study's authors say, represents a useful resource to identify new genes in quantitative trait loci without documented candidates. GenomeWeb has more on this and a related study here.